A chronicle of the whimsical jaunts of this guy as he goes around some foreign places looking for food.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Everyday is getting further and further between days

Again, apologies for the gaps.

Back through Copenhagen; breezed through. Mostly fond of my time in Berlin.

We stayed with a girl Cameron had known as an exchange student from High School. Now, 10 years after the fact, was gracious and kind enough to let us stay in her apartment for a few days. Berlin is an amazing city, with ultra-modern office buildings and consulates perched next to half-century old bullet hole marked buildings. Graffiti peppers the entire landscape, on every imaginable place, even the restrooms and stairwells of 'respectable' restaurants. Squatter clubs appear and disappear every few years in former East Berlin neighborhoods, only to be shut down, and reappear 6 months later in another unoccupied building. The streets are full of friendly young adults commuting on bikes. The subways and above-ground rails are fast and ever present.

However, the strains of the city's bisection are still visible. Some old East buildings don't have gas heating; adventurous and broke residents still heat with coal. Drab apartment buildings tower on the landscape, framed by uncountable construction sites. The city is progressive and growing, even in the face of wide-spread unemployment. A fascinating place to visit, and I surmise an amazing place to settle for a few months.

A comical interlude --
After getting out of the Checkpoint Charlie museum (chronicling the history of the Wall) Cameron and I sat at an Italian restaurant up the street to relax our throbbing feet. Afterwards we made our way to the 'Topography of Terror' one of the only historical sights about the 3rd Reich. It's all outdoors at the demolished foundation of the 'People's Court' building that summarily sentenced thousands of political dissidents to death sentences. In the middle of the grotesque yet fascinating history lesson, intensely crippling gastrointestinal pains began to hit me. Seeing as how there was a museum adjacent to the site, we made our way, noticing that there was an enormous line out the door of the building. Cameron quickly asked the doorman where we could find a toilet. He points to the building across the street.

The building, which isn't identified by a sign, is under renovation (like, it seems, a quarter of the buildings in Europe during the summer). We approach the building, guarded by a lone Polizei officer, and the giant glass doors open for us automatically. We step into the foyer, noticing the place looks like some sort of museum, but it's closed. The lights were half off, and the information desk was vacant. My intestines not letting me be deterred we searched frantically for the nearest bathroom. Luckily, it was within a few meters of the door and we were able to avert appreciable disaster.

Emerging from my quick escape, Cameron was ready to answer the burning question: what is this place? She hands me a brochure, smiling, which reads: German Parliament, House of Representatives. From here on, I will profusely be grateful to my savior the German Parliament.

With that, I should release this terminal. More of Prague awaits. A small, old city, saved from the ravaging bombs of the Second Great War, recently released from the bonds of Soviet Communism. More on this later.

Capt. C


Anonymous Daddi-o said...

I guedd it is time for me to say ' hey' again, as I haven't typed to you as often as I should... I am glad that you and Cameron are well and are enjoying the sights of Western Europe (and their Parliament building). Things seem to be skipping along rather quickly if you are already in Prague; Seems as though you all will be heading home soon, returning to the Etas Unis in short order, hmm? Since there have been no photojournal postings, can we assume that there will be a cacophany of visual delights we will see upon your return? Hope so, Captain. Be well and safe, my son, and will talk to you soon. Ta-ta for now..

7/25/2005 5:52 PM  
Anonymous mamma san said...

Hope you'll let us know your return date. We will be sure to have the cheering crowds to greet you at LAX!

Love you.

7/25/2005 6:00 PM  
Anonymous "The old ones" said...

So you are going ahead and continue this thing are you? You don't want to turn around and come back having viewed up close at least one of the oldest buildings ever, which is suffering only slightly from old age and considerate treatment from the present carbon forms which are passing through. I mean, how much better can it get? Wait....I know how much better. You could spend a little time with Cameron and some of the friendies, some more so than others....., always a pleasure eh what? Too much to reply to and too little time. Better let you go for now. Keep on keeping on. Have fun ! Bye...

7/26/2005 8:47 AM  

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